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Total number of murders in the United States in 2012, by state

 Number of murder victims
California 1,879
Texas 1,141
Pennsylvania 684
New York 682
Michigan 682
Georgia 541
Illinois 509
North Carolina 470
Louisiana 455
Ohio 410
Missouri 389
Tennessee 387
New Jersey 385
Maryland 365
South Carolina 324
Arizona 321
Virginia 314
Indiana 275
Oklahoma 212
Washington 194
Kentucky 192
Mississippi 174
Wisconsin 169
Arkansas 166
Colorado 160
Connecticut 146
Massachusetts 121
Nevada 116
New Mexico 109
Minnesota 89
Kansas 84
Oregon 81
West Virginia 66
Delaware 57
Virgin Islands 52
Nebraska 52
Utah 49
Iowa 44
Rhode Island 34
Alaska 29
Idaho 26
Maine 25
Montana 22
North Dakota 16
Wyoming 14
New Hampshire 14
South Dakota 14
Hawaii 13
Vermont 8
Alabama 2
Guam 2
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This graph displays the number of murders in the United States by state. In 2012, the number of murders in Alaska amounted to 29 victims.

Murder in the United States

Violent crime statistics, particularly murder and homicide data, provide key insights into law enforcement in the United States and inform national debate surrounding crime policies.

There were a total of 14,827 reported murder and non-negligent manslaughter cases in the U.S. in 2012. Although the number of cases has declined in the past twenty years, when viewed in international comparison, the U.S. murder rate is still high. In 2012, Germany’s murder rate stood at 0.8, compared to 4.7 in the United States.

The most dangerous U.S. state in 2012, if measured by the number of murders per hundred thousand inhabitants, was Louisiana. The murder and non-negligent manslaughter rate in Louisiana came to 10.8 that year, more than twice the national average. The least dangerous state in 2012, on the other hand, was New Hampshire, with a murder rate of 1.1.

Murder, homicide and violent crime statistics regularly influence America’s current political debate on gun law. Under the Second Amendment, U.S. citizens are entitled to own and carry firearms, though gun control and regulation laws are hotly contested. The amount of firearms in circulation in the U.S. is fairly high, when compared with European countries. About 45 percent of American households have a gun in their home.

Though any causal connection between firearm circulation and homicide rate is purely speculative, murder by firearm is nonetheless high. About 60 percent of murders and non-negligent manslaughter cases in the U.S. were carried out using a firearm, including handguns, rifles, and shotguns. This number sums up to 8,855 murders by firearm.

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